We are in a public discussion on Black Lives Matter, not how every life matters. This is known. Black Lives Matter is a movement that we are all involved and accountable because racial injustice happens in every community. Black Lives Matter is a strong, meaningful voice for our nation by means of educating and bringing change concerning cultural inequality, systematic racism, and white privilege.
When social movements fight for equality and civility, and fight against the abuse of civic power, it is deserving of personal attention and reflection. We all live in an era where racist groups exist, when civil war and civil rights movements changed our county. We know that segregation, discrimination, protests, and the development of new laws have been mandated by the public voice, not by the one percent. It is our responsibility as the masses to carefully consider the rhetoric of public discourse versus real, life changing issues that focus on how social movements advance a better quality of life, laws, and equal opportunities for all people. Black Lives Matter is important because it is a united voice that transcends across race, law, or media to humanitarian rights, to raise awareness and accountability, pushing our culture further to show more social acceptance, justice, maturity, and diversity.
Why should any minority in this nation need to fight for their rights? If we live in a community where people are suffering and treated poorly, why not want to help? This is true for Native Americans, for Latinos, for women, for the disabled, for the LGBTQ community, for African Americans or Asians, for immigrants, for any minority that suffers at the hand of discrimination. This is also true for any person that suffers at the hand of injustice. This is why the justice system was created, to protect and to serve the citizen, each citizen, without discrimination.
America is meant to be a place of equal opportunity because we practice equality, when we do not, we enslave one another, and make the wrong sacrifices. When minorities or whistle blowers, or movements rise up to say, there is a problem, there is not equality, then the general public and leaders of this nation need to hear the problem instead of fighting against it. We need to support and find a solution by and for one another. This changes culture, atmosphere, beliefs. Black Lives Matter brings to surface just how many main streets of America still barbarically embrace fear tactics, and corruption. There is still a great need to expand civil rights and justice in our communities.
There has always been a disproportionate amount of racism against black people, especially by people in places of public authority. Systematic racism is real, along with- just, straight up social racism. It happens enough, for it to be too much and has always been evident. I’m a white, forty year old female, and remember a lot of racism growing up in Springfield, Illinois. How much more did my parents grow up with, and their parents, and not too many generations back, there find a slave owner. I come from an average, lower to middle-class family, and remember “soft” segregation from my teachers, my parents, peers, grandparents, and from the media. The city was divided into east side and west side. There were black friends, and white friends. Everyone knew these racist dynamics were wrong and are wrong, but still tolerated. If someone was asked if they were racist, they’d answer no, consciously aware of morality, yet still feeling the need to protect themselves against the young black man in a hoodie.
It’s a choice to put a sharp looking white women in a commercial rather than a sharp looking black woman. Through the late eighties and early nineties, the media focused on filming young black Americans as gangsters or criminals, rather than in kosher, trendy roles, when the days of Bill Cosby and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air were the exception. Instead, we grew up with things like the war on drugs, which incriminated and stereotyped black people. It was normal to face disapproval for interracial relationships, normal for white kids and black kids to make fun of each other about their race at school. It was normal to have all black communities, all white communities, all Latino communities, and it still is, so why argue that racism does not exist? It does, and it is a problem, maybe not to you directly, and you might be black, but it is a problem for so many others in our nation, enough that we ought to care as a nation, and offer support as an individual and citizen.
I was driving back to California from Texas when I saw the brutal murder of George Floyd on the news. I wept. In dedication to George Floyd:
One man is more than a man. He is an example, turned into a platform for boots and arms and knees and whiteness. Whiteness is a mentality of superiority because of privilege, not just race. Crushed down into the cement. I am surprised there is no dent. What did the badge see when forcing another human not to breath; fear, hatred, both? What did the badge see when there was no breath, and the chest was still, and the back no longer moved. Was the badge conscious of just taking a human life? Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters across the screens are turned inside out, devices holler and weep, and wonder, why! Why was another young black life murdered? Why did hatred win? Why was there not someone who stopped the brutal scene?
Oh America the beautiful, I weep. You have always been ugly behind your pretty words and false morality. You’ve been neglectful, abusive, and power hungry, always pointing the finger. Since this nation’s existence, Uncle Sam has been represented, managed, and favored by dollar signs making too many laws while denying respect, generosity, and equality in our customs. Too little has ever been done; so much so, that after war, civil unrest, aborhorant casualties on American streets, political upheaval, we still see public leaders of our nation make slanderous, racist comments. We see murders- too unjust to be forgotten. We are better people than the excuses. We are loving human beings. I believe we can all do something about the racism in our own backyards. How else is an entire nation going to shift an ancient mindset.
As the general public, we know people generally go along with cultural mainstream beliefs about race, equality, and social trends. The overall majority in our nation right now is white. The majority of congress members and presidents through the years have been white men. Today, we are dealing with the consequences of not being as culturally diverse in our workplaces or positions, unable to distribute power equally. Power has been abused by supremacy groups, members of the police force and judicial systems, by the media, and by people in the public to adhere and reinforce hateful social rules and customary beliefs that are outdated and harmful to our culture’s future.
White privilege exists. White people are the majority, naturally feeling a sense of belonging, experiencing less police brutality, unjust imprisonment, profiling, acts of racism, or discrimination publicly, and or privately. To deny the racial dilemma is to turn a deaf ear to the vast number of people in our nation that are crying out enough is enough. I have heard some wild statements from people that don’t believe in the movement Black Lives Matter. For example, to believe a fallacy like black people are just getting worked up, is racist. We would not think the LGBTQ community were fighting for their rights for no reason, or that the Women’s March on Washington is just an act to get attention. Let’s step out of denial, out of gaslighting behavior because this kind of language is too narrow. It minimizes the issues at hand, lacks civil empathy, insight, education, and love. Support and stand for Black Lives Matter, because to have to say so- that black lives matter, that they count, proves a great failure already in our nation. Let us not forget how this movement got started, by mothers protesting that their child’s life mattered, begging for justice and change.
We all say we want what is right, so why not stand for our sister’s cause, our brother’s cause. Why not make it our cause. It is our voice and attitude that helps bring change to our neighborhoods by simply being culturally aware and sensitive. Racism is not a problem that any select group of our society faces alone. We created it together, we fix it together, it doesn’t matter if we are cleaning up the past, or just yesterday, someone has to clean it up, let it be us. This is social maturity. Pick up responsibility and know that racism exists, that it divides people and enables hatred. As a nation we need police reform, justice reform, civil right reform that raise wages for minorities, creates equal opportunities in neighborhoods and schools, and advocates for fair and just treatment by our civil and judicial systems. As a nation, we need to unlearn white privilege to become more culturally diverse and sensitive to the growing needs inclusive of all America people.